07 February 2011

Good-Bye to a Good Friend

Hey, Friends! Thank you for your responses to last week's post! It meant a lot to read of your promises for prayer, encouragement, and excitement!

Now, for some bittersweet news.

I said good-bye to a dear friend this weekend.

To be honest, I took her for granted. She appeared the same night as my high school graduation, introduced to me by a cousin of my mother's whom I have never met, seen a picture of, or heard her voice (meaning I'm convinced she's a ghost) and I didn't think this new friend had a place in my life. After all, I was finished with high school. I still had my old trusty old friend... and I'm one of those people who doesn't need a large group to be happy. I'd rather have one or two close friends. What did I need her companionship for?

So I stuffed her in the back of my closet.

Three years later, my old friend and I bid farewell. She was bound for the dumpster. I was poor. Remembering the "new" friend in the back of my closet (now aged three years, but with no wear whatsoever), I sheepishly asked for her forgiveness.

She said she'd think about it.

From that day on, she accompanied me to every class. When I graduated from college, she went with me all over the world- from the feral Amazon Jungle to the mountains of Southern Africa, the slums of Delhi, India, and a Central American lake.

Somewhere in the midst of all of our travels, she became a bit worn. A snag here, a tear there... until a year ago I noticed her simply falling apart from the stress of our life together. The doctor couldn't fix her broken pieces.

And tonight, I met a new friend.

I'm excited about this new relationship. This new friend will go with me to places I've never known before and show me things I never new existed. But first, I want to send my old friend- who, I'm ashamed to say, I didn't want- good-bye.

You were always there, my perfect traveling companion. I will never forget you. Thank you for shouldering my burdens, for making my life easier. For nine years, you served me without complaining, even when I slung you in the dust and threw you across the room. Nothing was too heavy for you... even though some things were too big. Most of all, I loved how you let me use you as a pillow on layovers. I only hope you don't end up in a landfill.

Some pictures from our life together:

In the bottom of our boat on our 2 day trek out to the remote villages of the Amazon Jungle (we slept in those hammocks at night):

On the floor of my room in India:

Okay... so, silly. This weekend I threw out a bookbag I had for 9 years. It got to the point where the zipper didn't zip at all, and I was unable to get it replaced. Having not been bookbag shopping since my freshman year of high school, I was amazed at all the choices in the store.

The one I ended up getting supposedly will last me for life. That's nifty. It has a lot of organizational pouches that make me really happy- and excited to try it out in a few weeks!

Still, even though I knew it was a necessary purchase and it was something that's been on my "I'll need to buy one soon so I need to prepare for that" list for about a year, I refused to buy one until my old one was completely wasted.

Kind of like some ideas I've had....plotlines, characters, conversations, titles... I've discovered that in life I have a tendency to hold on long after the point of "It's time to let go".

Do you have that problem? Your characters?

P.S. Seriously... isn't a bookbag an odd gift for a graduation?


  1. You had me going there for a while. Good one and glad you made a new friend. :O)

  2. Ref: an odd gift - One popular graduation gift is the Dr. Seuss book "Oh, The Places You'll Go." It's a way of wishing the graduate Bon Voyage as they start out on the great adventure. I think a bookbag or backpack is the same thing. It certainly worked for you.

  3. This is so funny, and yet so true! I stick with things long after I should let them go.

    I'm thinking about that in regards to my current book as well. I'm so tired of revisions. At this point, I'm just using her to practice what I'm learning in school, but I'm fairly certain soon I'm just going to have to let her go.

  4. I suppose it is an offbeat gift, but then, look how much it was used...:)

  5. A book bag is never an odd gift. It's a wonderful gift, the best gift. Yes, I have given them myself. Occasionally.
    As for holding on too long, hold on. Embrace. It is our American nature to relish the new, but we are enriched when we embrace what we already have, what we already know, even if they are characters. We loved them once, we will love them again. Might take a few years, but it will come.

  6. Oh, yes! I definitely have that problem. And, yeah, I'd say a bookbag is an odd graduation gift.

  7. Ha, ha! And perhaps the book bag was intended for college? I'm glad you found a newer sturdier version. We all need an upgrade now and again. ;)

  8. Oh, funny! I'm like that with blankets. I just can't let them go! Congrats on your new adventure, by the way!

  9. Sometimes you have to get rid of something old like that to welcome something new into your life!

  10. Not silly! Touching. :)

    I'm learning to tone down emotions. Read something about it from Bob Mayer last week, and it really hit home.

  11. Hi Kristen -

    LOL! I have trouble parting with favorite items of clothing. I wear them until they fall apart.

    The new book bag sounds wonderful. I purchased a new pocketbook with tons of compartments. No more emptying my entire bag to find my keys. :)


  12. Hahaa, I feel you! I hang on to things until they fall apart. And yeah, weird gift but maybe the gift-giver had an inkling of what you'd need that loyal friend for. :-)

  13. I tend to get really attached to those things that serve me best and most often. Then when I get a new whatever, I can't use it for a long time because it doesn't feel right.

    Yes, a book bag is a bit of a strange thing for a graduation gift, but how many of your other gifts did you keep that close to you for such a long time.

    Great post.

  14. Oh, gosh, you had me there for a while. LOL
    Yeah, a bookbag is a bit...odd. Luggage, maybe. :)

  15. My oldest friend has been with me since I was four — its an original Grumpy Bear. I stopped sleeping with it when my husband took his place on the bed, but Grumpy now has his own spot on my office shelves. I think at this point everyone expects the bear to go into the casket with me.